History behind Cow and calf park

At the junction of Gokulam Road and the KRS Road, there is small triangular park with a statue of Cow and Calf under a huge tree. This is popularly known as Cow and Calf Park. This park may be very small in size but is a  part of glorious history of this city. Also it is a part of our heritage. Unfortunately there may not be many people who would know  the history of this park and that of the cow and calf statue. As also as to why this area is called Gokulam.

The autobiographical book  The Raj, Maharaja and Me by  M.G. Srinivasan, I.C.S,  reveals the history of this place and the reason for the place name Gokulam. Srinivasan served the Maharaja of Mysore during 40s in different capacities and was associated with setting up of several factories of which K.R. Mills was one.

As per Srinivasan, Maharaja was perturbed by the stray cows roaming about in this beautiful city and wanted some permanent solution to this menace. Maharaja was also aware of the fact that these stray cows were a source of livelihood to their owners who were so poor that cows could not be maintained in sheds and taken care of. This matter was very seriously discussed. After a lot of thought it was decided to shift all the cows and the families dependent on them to a place near the Sanatorium. This  place   provided adequate grazing grounds for the animals and the dignified existence for the owners. This area is now known as Gokulam  First Stage. The officers’ quarters for the Mysore Chemicals Factory {MCF], [ Belagola] were also located nearby. Even today one can see dairy farming being practiced just opposite the Cow and Calf park. It is to commemorate relocation of  cows  and the dependent families from the city centre to this place that a statue of Cow and Calf was put up at a corner.

All these years many attempts have been made by ever ready street corner temple promoters to usurp this small park by facilitating build up of an ant-hill and putting up one or the other statuettes or photos of some god or goddess to build up a clientele of pious customers. Luckily such attempt failed and the park has remained intact. Once a bus had crashed into this park and had dismantled the cow and calf statue. Late on the statue was put back on its pedestal.

A few years ago, concerned   authority had taken up   “development”  of this park. It erected six concrete pillars, which practically covered more than 50% of the park area. The intention was to put up canopy under which it wanted to shift the calf and cow statue

This act of MCC raised several questions:

  1. This park and the statue have been in existence for more than 65 years and have become a symbol of our heritage. Will not this canopy destroy the environs of park and the heritage value of the statue?
  2. There is Supreme Court decision that no structure should be built in areas designated as Parks, does this act of “development” by the MCC not violate that direction of the SC?
  3. When the city is in great need of other facilities like better drainage and roads, is this not a wanton wasteful expenditure on the part of MCC?
  4. Kempegowda park just about 300 meters from this place is in total neglect, could not MCC use this money for the upkeep of that park which would have benefited more citizens of the area?

For unknown reasons the “developmental work” has remained incomplete.

Chandra Prakash

 

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